Community Dialogue and Engagement

Responsible Care® companies believe Canadians — particularly those living in communities where these companies do business — have the right to understand the risks and benefits of being their neighbours. Responsible Care® companies also believe the opinions and concerns of community members matter.

To give communities a greater voice, local representatives nominated by the community have the opportunity to serve as full participants in the Responsible Care triennial verification process, passing the ultimate judgement on whether members are meeting their Responsible Care commitments.

What CIAC members are doing to engage communities

To help CIAC member companies better understand the community's concerns, needs and aspirations, as well as their expectations for corporate social responsibility, members foster ongoing community awareness and dialogue by:

  • providing proactive information about their operations, products, services, waste, social impacts, benefits, hazards and associated risks, up to and including worst-case scenarios;
  • including a formal mechanism for receiving and responding to questions, complaints, concerns or suggestions from the public; and
  • providing the community with information about plans to modify operations and allowing for meaningful opportunities to influence those plans before they are implemented.

Responsible Care Codes for Indigenous communities

On October 17, 2019, CIAC’s Board of Directors approved new Responsible Care code elements for Indigenous communities, which were published in January 2020. In 2018, CIAC created a task group made up of CIAC members and Indigenous communities to develop Responsible Care codes for engaging with Indigenous communities located near or exercising traditional land rights near a member facility. These Indigenous code elements are requirements of the Responsible Care Accountability Code. As part of the new codes, members are expected to identify aspects of the Indigenous code elements that are appropriate for the size, scope and risk profile of the company, including nature, scale and impacts of its operations, activities, products and services. Responsible Care dictates that Indigenous Peoples are a group requiring special considerations and engagement with such Indigenous communities located in the area near a company-owned or leased production facilities shall be undertaken with respect for their unique history, culture and rights.

AC 153: Identifies and seeks to pro-actively engage with such indigenous communities; AC 154: Seeks to develop and maintain a working relationship with such indigenous communities to enable effective communications, dialogue or response to questions, suggestions or concerns expressed so they are addressed in a timely and respectful manner; AC 155: Provides support, as appropriate, to allow such indigenous communities the capacity to engage meaningfully with the Company; AC 156: Periodically reviews the effectiveness of the outreach, communications and engagement process with such indigenous communities; AC 157: Provides indigenous community members equitable access to employment and contracting opportunities, including procurement and supply chain.

Community engagement in Sarnia-Lambton

The Clean Air Sarnia and Area (CASA) initiative provides information and timely data from Sarnia’s air monitoring network. It includes a community advisory panel made up of representatives from the public, government, First Nations, and industry, who are dedicated to providing the community with a clear understanding of ambient air quality in the Sarnia area. A number of CIAC members are involved in the CASA initiative, initially formed in September 2015. CASA works to improve air quality in the Sarnia area by:

  • sharing information about ambient air quality;
  • identifying and researching local air quality issues;
  • providing recommendations and information to the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks and the Sarnia-Lambton Environmental Association;
  • informing the public of local air quality.

To learn more about the Air Monitoring Network, watch the video below:

To learn more about the initiative, visit their website

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